Last Week: 10-4
Record Picking Redskins Games: 3-3
Against the Spread: 14-9
Lock of the Week: 4-2
Last Week's Pats: On a roll right now, especially against the spread where I went 3-1, improving to 7-1 over the past two weeks. I also need to pat myself on the back for correctly predicting the Browns to upset the Giants. How long can this hot streak last?
Last Week's Apologies: Can't really apologize to the Rams, because I don't think picking the Redskins was a stretch at all. But I will apologize to the Falcons, who I have been doubting all year-- now they have my attention.
This Week's Picks:
San Diego at Buffalo: Tough call here. As has been a staple of Norv Turner's teams over the years, the Chargers are completely unpredictable from week to week. Buffalo has had two weeks to recover from their blowout loss in Arizona, but something tells me the "good" Chargers show up this week.
Chargers 27, Bills 17
New Orleans at Carolina: Just when we were all ready to start saying, "watch out for the Panthers," in the NFC, they go and lay an egg in Tampa Bay. I like them to bounce back and win a close one against the Saints.
Panthers 24, Saints 22
Minnesota at Chicago: In all three of their losses, Chicago can make a good case that they really should have won. Oddly enough, the Bears offense is getting the job done, while the defense seems to be letting them down at critical points in the game. Minnesota has played better in recent weeks, but I'm still not impressed.
Bears 21, Vikings 17
Pittsburgh at Cincinnati: I'll give the Bengals some credit-- they are playing hard every week, but they just aren't any good. Marvin Lewis has completely failed at building a defense in Cincinnati and the Bengals find themselves in a very similar position as when he arrived.
Steelers 26, Bengals 16
Tennessee at Kansas City: With all of the "what the...." games taking place around the NFL, the Titans would be wise to take the Chiefs seriously. But I view the Titans as the type of squad that may be above such upsets. The Titans can be defeated for sure, but I think you will have to be better than them to do it.
Titans 24, Chiefs 10
Baltimore at Miami: Not expecting offensive fireworks this week on South Beach, that's for sure. The Ravens have the better defense in this match-up, but I definitely give the offensive edge to the resurrgent Dolphins, who have been moving the ball very well in recent weeks. Having said that, I just have a gut feeling the Ravens get it done this week.
Ravens 17, Dolphins 16
San Francisco at New York Giants: Was New York's loss in Cleveland an abberation or a sign of more serious issues? It's hard to tell, but until they prove otherwise, I'll lean towards to the former.
Giants 30, 49ers 17
Dallas at St. Louis: What a miserable week for the Cowboys. The trade for Roy Williams may alleviate some of the frustration from what took place both on the field and off the field this past week, but the Cowboys just don't look right. The pass defense is putrid, and the offense doesn't seem to have an identity. Losing Tony Romo for a month won't help either. But Romo's biggest weakness (ball security) has traditionally been Brad Johnson's biggest strength. If the Cowboys stop giving the ball to the other team, they may take some pressure off the struggling D. The Rams won last week, but their offense was still very, very shaky. This is far from a slam dunk pick, but I'll go with Dallas.
Cowboys 28, Rams 20
Detroit at Houston: The Lions are gross.
Texans 31, Lions 17
Indianapolis at Green Bay: This game is a Pick Em' for a reason: It's a total toss up. After some early struggles, the Colts may have found their groove last week against Baltimore, but the Packers also bounced back after a few ugly weeks, and got a much-needed win on the road. I could see this game becoming a shootout, and I have major concerns about the Packers banged-up secondary.
Colts 29, Packers 26
New York Jets at Oakland: Again, this is one of those games that screams upset given the climate of the league right now, but I'm going to give the Jets some credit and predict that they keep the Raiders at bay.
Jets 20, Raiders 17
Cleveland at Washington: Last week may have been a signal that both of these teams are regressing to the mean. Cleveland played much more like their fans expected them to play prior to the season and the Redskins looked like a team under a first year coach for the first time since week one. I definitely think Vegas is off on this game, as these are two evenly-matched teams. I'm going to say the Redskins find a way to scratch out a close one, but that is based primarily on the homefield advantage.
Redskins 24, Browns 21
Seattle at Tampa Bay: The Seahawks were circling drain with Matt Hasslebeck. Without him, they might be the worst team in the NFL.
Bucs 30, Seahawks 13
Denver at New England: I just don't trust the Broncos defense right now. New England will bounce back from an embarrassing performance last week.
Patriots 28, Broncos 24
4 To Score
1. Bucs (-10) vs. Seahawks. Charlie Frye, on the road, against the Bucs defense, doesn't sound like a good recipe to me.
2. Chargers (+1.5) at Bills. Erractic Chargers confound the oddsmakers again.
3. Browns (+7) at Redskins. Vegas is off the mark on this one.
4. Titans (-7.5) at Chiefs. Titans may be above some of the "letdown" games we're seeing around the league.